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“Late Bloomer ”

Written on: 10/03/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

Late Bloomer

Melissa Pritchard

Doubleday, Apr 2004, $23.95, 365 pp.

ISBN: 0385503040

In Tempe the single mother of a teenage daughter, Prudence True Parker visits the public library seeking books that will help her draft the syllabus of the fifteen week course, Advanced Personal Journey that she will teach at the local community college. While in the women's room of the library, she meets cross-dresser Mildred Crawley nee Digby Deeds. As Mildred, he/she write highly successful romance novels, but now he is dying. He believes that their meeting over the toilet bowls is fate dubbing her his heir while she figures he is mad. Digby gives her the rights to complete his Savage Passion series.

At a Native American fund raiser in Oklahoma, Prudence meets and shares a night of love making with Comanche Ray Chasing Hawk. Prudence returns home followed by Ray who moves in with her and her seventeen year old. Living research with Ray, Prudence tries to replace Mildred whose next book centers on a white woman/Indian chief romance.

LATE BLOOMERS is an engaging romantic satire that contrasts "real life" with fiction. The troubled relationship between Ray and Prudence compares unfavorably with that in the novel that she is authoring. This book within a book gifts the audience with a biting edge to an eccentric tale that ironically is softened with a romance novel's simple climatic solutions that seem more apropos for the Savage Passion novel. Still Melissa Pritchard furbishes a witty spoof that mocks all that is sacred in the wonderful wacky world of the romance relationship.

Harriet Klausner

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